How to Get A RETS Feed?

Please note that the Real Estate Transaction Standard (RETS) has been deprecated and is no longer recommended for use in MLS/IDX integration. Consumers are advised to use the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) Web API, which provides a more efficient and secure way of accessing MLS/IDX data. We strongly encourage all users to transition to RESO Web API for a better and more reliable experience. Learn more


Getting a RETS feed is essential to many IDX projects. But the process can be confusing, as it involves a lot of moving parts.

There is paperwork to sign and fees to pay. Sometimes there are references to provide. Whether you are an agent or a developer, knowing in advance how this process works will save you time and money.

Before starting the RETS process there is some key vocabulary you should know.

Participant: This is the end user of the RETS feed, typically the agent or broker.

Vendor: The vendor is the technical lead on the project, responsible for accessing the RETS server and establishing the data connection. In many cases, the vendor is able to serve multiple participants under a single license.

Consultant: The MLS will sometimes use the term consultant for the technical lead on the project. This is usually the case when the company is providing a one-time service, and it does not plan to serve other participants under the license.

Display Rules: These are the rules that govern how MLS data may be displayed and how it must be attributed.

How to get a RETS feed

1. Call the MLS

2. Ask to speak with the data license administrator

3. Explain interest in a RETS feed for an IDX project

4. MLS will issue licensing paper and fee schedule

5. Read paperwork and understand the compliance rules

6. Agent & vendor complete the paperwork

7. Pay the fees

8. MLS will issue RETS login credentials

During the RETS process there are few things to keep in mind. First, who takes compliance responsibility? RETS feeds come with a number of rules and regulations. If any of these are broken, the MLS may disconnect the feed or take legal action. The license paperwork will clarify who is responsible in this situation. You should take note.


Second, who pays the fees? Some MLS assess fees to the vendor. Some charge the participant. And some include the fees in the monthly dues the member already pays. If it’s not clear in the paperwork, you should ask the MLS.

In most cases, the MLS will only approve you for a RETS feed if you are a member or a vendor working with a member. If you don’t fall into one of these categories, don’t worry. We have a few suggestions on how to get MLS access without a real estate license.

Have any questions about the RETS process? Leave a comment or give us a call. Or if you are interested in off-market data, check out How to Get a VOW Feed.

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The opinions or information expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official views, policy, or position of Realtyna. The information on Realtyna’s Website is general, for informational purposes only, and is not to be relied upon or interpreted as real estate, legal, accounting, or other professional advice or a substitute. Please discuss anything related to the certification process, professional advice or legal procedures with your MLS providers.

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  • Norma Rojas
    Posted at 20:33h, 01 August

    Dear RealtyNA member,

    I am a Marketer. I am a US Citizen. I have a friend who builds new luxury homes in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico. She is not fluent in English. She has asked for my help to advertise her houses on and an MLS. I do not have a real estate license. I am considering taking an online course to get the license but would like to understand if paying a flat fee to get access to MLS without a real estate license is feasible. My friend has a company, so she takes care of the legal process once the potential buyer is identified.
    Look forward to your comments.


    • Morgan Taylor
      Posted at 07:46h, 02 August

      Hi Nora!!
      Because MLS are based on location, I am not sure any MLS would accept listings from outside the area they cover. It would be case-by-case for each MLS, so it is better to reach out to them directly. Another great option is to reach out to those brokerages and agents who also share and advertise vacation homes in Mexico. Your client can also have a custom website built for her homes and focus on the SEO for her niche content.
      Sorry it is not such a concise answer. Each MLS in the states (more than 600) have different rules and exceptions.